Epidemiology of oral cancer in South Africa 1996-2002
Oral cancer is characterised by marked geographical differences in frequency and site preference as reported by various studies. In South Africa, a few studies have been reported on the patterns and aetiology of oral cancer, and age standardised incidence rates (ASIR). Studies in several countries have shown an increase in oral cancer incidence among younger people. Title: Epidemiology of oral cancer in South Africa 1996-2002. Aim and Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the age standardised incidence rates (ASIR) of oral cancer by age, gender, race and site in South Africa for a consecutive period of seven years. Method: Pathology case records of oral cancer diagnosed over a seven-year period from 1996 to 2002 and reported to the National Cancer Registry (NCR) were analysed for age, sex, race, and date of diagnosis, basis of diagnosis, topography and tumour type. The data was tabulated and categorised using Microsoft Excel. The South African population size for each year of the study was estimated by linear extrapolation using the 1996 and 2001 census results. Age standardisation incidence rates against the world population were calculated by the standard direct method. Results: The total number of oral squamous cell carcinoma cases over the 7-year period was 9702. The majority of cases (34%) were on the tongue. The male to female ratio was 1:3. The age standardized incidence rates in this study was lower among African women; (0.640 per 100000 per year) and the highest was 13.40 new cases per 100000 per year (coloured males). Lip cancer was highest among both males and females of the white population. The cumulative rate of developing oral cancer was 1:83 and 1:32 for males and females respectively.